The last few months of 2011 are going to be packed full of exciting new books and debut authors. While I’m anticipating a few with the passion of a thousand fiery suns–The Future of Us, anyone?–I have run into some problems with my reading list.
I’ve been blogging for a few months now and in that time, I’ve come across a lot of books that are ridiculously popular. While I never dismiss a book just because of massive buzz, it has gotten more difficult for me to find stories that haven’t already been read by hundreds of bloggers. In other words, I’m looking for backlist books, the ones that slip under the radar and aren’t mentioned quite as much as say, Hush Hush or The Mortal Instruments.
The problem lies in the fact that my taste in books tends to vary. An excellent writing style can get me through a cliche novel, but sometimes not even the most compelling characters can save a lackluster story. Paranormal stuff is fine by me, but I am reluctant to read anything with angels, vampires and werewolves because I rarely find any new hooks. I also tend to be wary of stories that are marketed as “the next *insert popular YA title here*.” I’ve most likely read that novel and will find it difficult to shed my automatic assumptions of the new story.
My time as a blogger has shown me that I’m a bit of a picky reader. While I’ll try most books at least once, the rush I feel when I find that diamond in the rough is unequaled. I love singing the praises of popular authors when they give the reader a story to stay up all night for, but it’s also wonderful to find a jewel of a book tucked away in the back of a library shelf. I would love to be the one to introduce readers to a book they might have missed in the heyday of new releases. Unfortunately, I never seem to run into any recommendations for older or backlisted novels.
And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky is a good example of this phenomenon. The book came out in July 2011, but I hadn’t even heard of it before August. Even then, it was just a link I stumbled upon on Goodreads one day and decided to check out. I hadn’t read any reviews or recommendations. It just seemed like an interesting book and I love Sylvia Plath. 20 pages in, I was in love and let me tell you, that was the sweetest and lightest fall into a book I’ve ever experienced. There was no pressure to love it or hate it. All I could do was enjoy it and I love that feeling.
I start new books every day looking for that same joy. Blogging can be a hassle sometimes and it isn’t always easy writing out thoughtful and careful reviews. (All authors deserve that, whether it’s positive or negative.) At the end of the day, all I’m looking for is a great story with enthralling characters. I would absolutely love to find more novels, both the popular ones and backlisted titles, that can give me that glorious satisfaction. They make the hard work, the stress and the eye strain worth it.
Have you found any backlist titles that you loved? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to check them out!